Atheism is a religion
Debate Rounds (1)
Religion is defined as:
1) "The belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods"
2) " A particular system of faith and worship"
3) "A pursuit or interest followed with great devotion"
Atheism clearly does not fit the first definition, since atheism is disbelief or lack of belief, and the first definition requires a belief in a superhuman controlling power. Nor does it fit the second definition since there is no faith or worship involved in atheism. The third definition, I suppose, one could argue that some atheists fit that definition if they are very devoted to atheism to the point where they want to make other atheist, but atheism does not inherently meet that definition, since in order for it to do so, it depends on what atheists themselves do.
Atheism does NOT have anything to do with science or any belief. ALL atheists are different, and the ONLY thing they have in common is a lack of belief in all deity.
NUMBER 1: Atheists have faith
The only truly rational position is Agnosticism as Atheism is essentially just a belief in the fact that there are no gods. To be an atheist one does not get rid of all assumptions and faith one still has to have faith that:
A). Their position is completely right
B). A god is not hiding from them giving no evidence of his existence
C). They have not been brainwashed into thinking that religions do not exist
D). Evidence that a god exists will not be discovered
Therefore to be an atheist one has to have some sort of faith, something we see in all religions. In this way Atheism is a religion and Agnosticism is not.
NUMBER 2: Atheism has it's own preachers
Look at Hitchens, Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Daniel Dennett; they are generally looking to convert people to atheism (note that this is being written by an atheist) and not simply give atheism a respectful position in society. I think its a good thing, but these four are essentially just preachers who use rational argument instead of scripture to try and convert people.
NUMBER 3: Atheism (though it is often not well defined) has it's own orthodoxy
I'm defining orthodoxy here as a set of beliefs held by a large percentage of a group. In this case atheist orthodoxy is a belief in the Big Bang, a belief in evolution, and often times a rejection of moral relativism for a more scientific view of morality. Obviously not all atheists agree with all of this but the same can be said for the orthodoxy of any of the other main religions.
One could also make a case that atheism has everything religion has; it worships rationality and follows science. It has prophets (Nietzsche, Epicurus, Marx). It has gods (Bertrand Russell, Darwin, Stephen Hawking, and perhaps the Four Horsemen of the non-apocalypse). It has its own scripture (The God Delusion, Why I am not a Christian, The Origin of the Species, The Grand Design). The only real thing which differentiates Atheism from the major religions is the lack of faith in a material god.
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